‘We can no longer wait:’ Spring Branch ISD announces new budget cuts for 2024-2025 school year

Spring Branch ISD announces more budget cuts (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Families in the Spring Branch Independent School District will be dealing with more budget cuts in their children’s schools as the district moves into the 2024-2025 school year.

In a message sent out Friday afternoon by Superintendent Jennifer Blaine, the district said it was forced to take these actions after the 88th Legislative Session and four special sessions of the Texas Legislature concluded without the educational funding challenges of Texas public school districts being addressed.

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“In recent months, the SBISD Board of Trustees and district administration have taken action on the first two phases of reductions to close the district’s $35 million general fund budget gap for the 2024-25 school year. Totaling a projected $12.5 million in savings, these budget reductions include, but are not limited to, closure of two schools, discontinuation of the SKY partnership with YES Prep Public Schools and KIPP Texas, Inc., change in secondary staffing ratios and alignment of schedules, increase in pre-K tuition for non-employees, and restructure of the SPIRAL gifted and talented program,” Blaine said.

Blaine explained the third phase of general fund reductions, for which she says impacted staff have been notified, are largely central office budget cuts and personnel and program model changes.

“We have done everything we can to minimize direct impact on our classrooms and student learning. However, with the magnitude of reductions and adjustments required, all schools will be impacted,” Blaine said.

The district shared a summary of Phase I, II and III Budget Reductions for 2024-25 school year:

Budget reduction summary (Spring Branch ISD)
Budget reduction summary (Spring Branch ISD)
Budget reduction summary (Spring Branch ISD)

“With the 88th Legislative Session and four special sessions concluded and no movement for Governor Abbott to call a fifth special session to address the educational funding challenges of Texas public school districts, we must act now,” Blaine said. “We can no longer wait and hope for funding, as some in our community have suggested.”

Blaine also directly blamed state leaders for the situation the district has fallen into with lack of funding.

“These difficult budget decisions are the result of the inaction of our state leaders who have prioritized education savings accounts (vouchers) over funding for public education. SBISD is not alone – districts across the state are announcing budget shortfalls and are being forced to make difficult cuts, just like us,” she said.

About the Author

Christian Terry covered digital news in Tyler and Wichita Falls before returning to the Houston area where he grew up. He is passionate about weather and the outdoors and often spends his days off on the water fishing.

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